View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Friday 20 April

Quite a nice bright day, until this downpour trundled past at 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Continued the transcription of the Crofter Commission's Report from 1902 about the care of the poor and of lunatic paupers. Generally speaking, the report has quite a condescending tone, but remains a valuable piece of social history of this island.

In the afternoon, I happened to glance into the backyard (which is enclosed by a 7 foot high wall) and spotted a female mallard duck.

She was frantically looking around her and quacking intermittently. Standing in amongst a patch of dandelions, she was soon spooked by a passing bumblebee and flew off. Ten minutes later, an SSPCA van pulled up and the driver rang the doorbell. Did we see a female duck - yes. The duck had flown away in the direction of the sea. The SSPCA man had 5 ducklings in a box in his van who were found wandering in the middle of the road, holding up the traffic. The animal welfare had been called and they were now looking for their mum. Well, to cut a long story short, mum never turned up again. A lady had been located who could look after the chicks, so they got taken away to be reared by hand. The duck had waddled in under a wooden fence, set in the wall. The fence has a 6 inch gap underneath. The duck had not been followed by her brood, who could no longer see or hear her on account of the fence and the noise of traffic.


  1. That was a happy ending at least Guido. Poor mother duck!

  2. Glad the babies will be taken care of!